As we continue to hold industry accountable for unsafe human exposure to carcinogens, we will eventually ensure that the health of workers is not compromised through corporate wrecklessness or negligence. One of the still-troubling hazardous chemicals used widely in industry is benzene, a substance classified by the Department of Health and Human Services as a carcinogen. Despite reductions in industrial use, benzene remains a common toxic agent at many job sites. Because high concentrations of benzene are linked to leukemia and blood disorders, benzene lawsuit settlements may be an option for financial recovery among victims.
Benzene Lawsuit Settlements: In which industries is benzene used?
Although the government has dramatically curtailed the presence of benzene in industrial settings, it still remains present in many industries, either in direct form or in the form of secondary materials containing it. The production of the following products has been known to involve benzene: paint, paper/pulp, pesticides, leather, rubber, and plastics. Benzene is also used in oil refineries and in petroleum product manufacturing.
Benzene Lawsuit Settlements: What diseases does benzene exposure cause?
According to OSHA’s website, “Research has shown benzene to be a carcinogen (cancer-causing). With exposures from less than five years to more than 30 years, individuals have developed, and died from, leukemia. Long-term exposure may affect bone marrow and blood production.”
Of the major types of leukemia, AML (acute myelogenous leukemia) has the most irrefutable link with benzene, and many benzene lawsuit settlements are awarded to patients with AML. However, if you suffer from a different form of leukemia, such as ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia), there may still be a proven link between benzene exposure and your condition.
Also, aplastic anemia patients may suffer their debilitating bone marrow disease due to benzene exposure. This disease is so rare and so frequently correlated with benzene that doctors almost immediately infer that industrial chemical exposure was the cause.
Basically, if you have developed any bone marrow disease, anemia, or leukemia since exposure to benzene, you may be able to pursue damages. Even exposure from years in the past can result in blood and bone marrow problems today or in the future.
Benzene Lawsuit Settlements: How much can I expect?
Many factors fold into the amount of money you can ultimately recover in a benzene lawsuit settlement. Your state’s laws, the timeframe and extent of your exposure, the company you worked for, and the actual damages you suffered all play a role in determining the size of the settlement you are likely to receive – if any. Consult a law firm, and be sure to speak with an attorney who is experienced in benzene.
Similar to many “slip and fall” attorneys (though usually more sophisticated), lawyers who specialize in benzene litigation usually do not require payment up front if they review your case and decide to take it. Most benzene lawyers will only pursues cases when there is a reasonable likelihood that the company will settle for at least tens of thousands. It is not uncommon for awards of over a million dollars in certain benzene cases.